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Entering the Age of Data Valuation

In this special guest feature, Steve Todd, Fellow at Dell Technologies, discusses how organizations are working towards IT and digital transformation to make the promise of data real, and more importantly, result in business outcomes that drive incredible value for their business … otherwise known as data valuation. Steve is a software engineer and inventor for Dell EMC with over 170 patents granted by the USPTO. He earned Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Computer Science from the University of New Hampshire. His inventions have generated tens of billions of dollars in revenue for Dell EMC. Steve is a Dell EMC Fellow and currently serves as the Vice President of Strategy and Innovation in the Office of the CTO, with a research emphasis on multi-cloud solutions, data value, and blockchain.

When the term “big data” surfaced in the industry, many of us came together to understand what the concept meant. It wasn’t long until the light-bulb clicked on above our heads – cultivating velocity, volume and variety meant significant business insights and improved financial results.

However, it’s taking a bit longer for the big data prophecy to come to fruition as organizations find that they need the right infrastructure to take advantage of the data gold mine they’re sitting on.  Organizations are working towards IT and digital transformation to make the promise of data real, and more importantly, result in business outcomes that drive incredible value for their business … otherwise known as data valuation.

Over the years, data took the wheel while compute sat in the back seat. It wasn’t until recently that we could really take advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to extract more value from data at scale and at speed. Now we have the ability to process massive data sets with intelligent systems that can learn over time, reason and make decisions with speed and accuracy. The next step is to then assign value to that data – what data is going to drive the greatest return on investment for your business? My colleague John Roese, CTO of Dell EMC, says that big data will become big intelligence and big business, and I agree with that. A great example comes out of Caesar’s Palace bankruptcy filing, where the Total Rewards Customer Loyalty database was among its most valuable assets … valued at $1 billion dollars by creditors.

We need to embrace data valuation in today’s new digital economy. According to IDC, by 2021, at least 50% of global GDP will be digitized, with growth in every industry driven by digitally enhanced offerings, operations and relationships. Being able to assign monetary value to specific data sets is a game changer – and there’s no better time than now as the data tsunami rising from all things connected is quickly approaching. Get ahead of it!

IT and digital transformation will play a critical role, no doubt. Organizations need an infrastructure that can effectively manage, analyze, store and protect this data – at scale, at speed and within an ever-evolving technology landscape. And, they’ll need to leverage their own automation and intelligence to drive data valuation at speed and with efficiency.

Data valuation will also require systems that can handle a combination of multiple forms of data: legacy mission-critical data, recently-collected big data, and emerging forms of IoT data as they represent evolving patterns of business activity over time. They must also exist in a way that enables compute-intensive valuation, with valuation processes that extend from the cloud to the edge … and of course in the core of the data center.

Looking to the future, the age of data valuation will also require additional innovation in the areas of data trust and data visualization, further re-imagining what possibilities and opportunities big data can bring.

And the value of data will only continue to grow exponentially – with compounding “interest” as that data feeds new opportunities and insights, new innovations and new ways of doing business. Data is going to become an organization’s most critical asset – why not make it your greatest investment that will pay dividends for years and years to come?

 

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